The Best Things I Have Purchased At Erewhon

Erewhon is a grocery store in Los Angeles for crazy people. Not just crazy people, crazy rich people. Sometimes I delude myself into thinking that I can shop there. These are some of my favorite purchases!

All of the Juices

I am a juice girl. Please say nothing to me about the sugar content of juice. I am ignoring you. I am too busy turning my tongue green, chugging a concoction of chard, dandelion, cucumber and moss. I love drinks that taste like dirt. I also love drinks that taste like citrus. Erewhon has all of that! And more (check out their Strawberry almond milk. Omg so good)! If you ever go to Erewhon, buy a juice. You will be like “$9??? For this??” Yes. For that.

You came here! Now pay the troll toll.

Erewhon Hand Sanitizer

THIS SMELLS SO F*CKING GOOD. As someone with a hand sanitizer for my entry way, purse, and car, I need a variety of scents. Otherwise, all I smell is Purell-alcohol and I feel sick. This is my favorite hand sanitizer for the car (I also keep like 3 Kreation sanitizers stashed in there as well, but tbh those smell like ass). Erewhon’s sanitizer smells like sandalwood and lavender and lemon and probably Kourtney Kardashian (notorious Erewhon shopper).

It by no means replaces hand washing— it’s not even my hand sanitizer with the highest alcohol content! But it is the nicest, best-smelling way to remind myself that everything is germ-y and terrifying and that I should not touch my face. Plus, it makes my car smell so good after I’ve sprayed.

Zab’s Hot Sauce St. Augustine Style

Okay, so I originally saw this hot sauce on an influencer’s IG story (itsmetinx), but I trust her taste in pretty much everything. First of all, the bottle is so cute. I love the little fire-breathing blue dog(?) (fox?) on it. It’s described as having a slow-burning heat, but the hot sauce itself is vaguely fruity, with a little bit of spice. I like to use this on rice and beans, avocado, chicken, sweet potatoes, etc, for a little bit of sweet heat.

Wylde One Yoga in a Cup

I had a really strong Four Sigmatic phase, and I still gravitate toward anything made with mushrooms. Yoga in a Cup is a blend of chill-inducing reishi mushrooms and Ashwagandha. It tastes a bit like chai tea, especially when you mix it with a little almond or oat milk. As someone who has tried many mushroom elixirs, this one makes me feel the most mellow. I recommend sipping on some while you take a candle-lit bath or watch TV.

Deux Enhanced Cookie Dough

You’re either a person who wishes they could eat cookie dough with a spoon, or you’re not. If you’re not, please get off my site. I don’t need that kind of negativity here. This vegan, gluten-free, immunity or beauty-boosting (depending on what flavor you pick) dessert is…..perfection? It tastes like luxury. It’s a PMS cure. My personal fave is the chocolate chip flavor but the brownie batter is also divine. Why can’t all my immunity/collagen/protein ish be given to me in cookie dough form???

Matzo Ball Soup

All of Erewhon’s soups are good, but if you like and regularly enjoy matzo ball soup, then you know the struggle of finding good supermarket MBS (matzo ball soup) is hard. Is Erewhon’s like your Bubbe makes? No. But it is a revelation!!! The matzo balls are light and herby. The broth is as drinkable as your favorite tea. There are BIG chunks of juicy chicken, vibrant carrot and celery in there! Where Gelson’s and Bristol Farms MBS fails, Erewhon EXCEEDS. These soups come in mason jars and my favorite thing that I have ever done is turn my Erewhon soup jug into an iced coffee …jug? cup? I never have to make a second coffee this way. It holds so much.

Joolies

If you like dates and don’t want to risk getting Covid at a farmer’s market, buy these. Put them in a salad. Put them in a smoothie. Eat them as a snack. Trust me. You’re welcome.

Iwon Organics Spicy Sweet Pepper Protein Stix

Apparently, Hot Cheetos are bad for you. I know, I was shocked too. But now I am on the hunt for a spicy, crunchy snack dupe. I love my Cheetys. Not because of their cheese-factor but because they are spicy and I like it when my mouth gets a little numb. These are nicely spiced! Not to mention non-GMO, soy-free, gluten-free, vegan and made with plant-based ingredients. However, they do not turn your fingers that lovely shade of red-orange.

I really like these but I am still on the hunt for something that really makes my mouth sweat. (Gross!)

Health Essential Candle Frankincense-Myrrh Luxury Glass

There is something truly unhinged about being in a grocery store and seeing an 8 ounce candle that retails for $23.99 and deciding, I’m going to get that! But let me tell you, IT IS WORTH IT. Is it a financially smart decision? No. But is shopping at Erewhon a financially smart decision anyway? Also probably no!!! Some days demand expensive candles (a lie I am telling myself and you, sorry) because you feel like the world is burning and the only thing you can control is what scent you want your bedroom to be.

This candle smells like a very expensive mom. Imagine you are the small child of wealthy parents, and you’re living in a mansion. You have wandered away from your nanny to go hide in to your mother’s walk-in closet. You are letting the sleeves of her cashmere sweaters tickle your face as you hide behind them. The cool silk of her skirts is brushing lightly against your knees. It smells like safety. It smells like fancy lady perfume. That is this candle!!!!!!!

Honorable Mention: The Salad and Hot Bar/Prepared Foods

I mean technically it’s not a salad or hot bar anymore because you can’t serve yourself. However, they offer a bunch of salads and hot food options pre-packed in individual servings, that were once a part of their salad and hot bar. My faves are their asian chicken salad, macrobiotic salad (which is less salad and more vegetables and rice and beans) and their kelp noodle salad. V good chicken, falafel, salmon and veggie sides.

Skip the sushi. It’s eh.

xo

Things I’ve Been Doing Instead of Drinking

I’m just going to start by saying, I really want a glass of wine right now.

I’ve paused Real Housewives of Salt Lake City to write this (because inspiration rarely strikes at convenient times), and normally I would be watching all the drama go down accompanied by a nice glass of red (or white) (or rosé).

But no.

I am doing Dry January, which I sometimes also call “Dryanuary.”

Never has the urge to drink in daily life been stronger. We are living through a global pandemic, a bunch of fuckwits stormed the Capitol, Harry Styles is dating Olivia Wilde, Tr*mp was impeached again, Armie Hammer wants to eat people, we still have to do our jobs, I haven’t had eye lash extensions since last March, every single restaurant we know and love is closing for good, I haven’t seen my friend group since last year and I think they all probably hate me because of it, I can’t stop crying because of that song “drivers license” AND I missed a dental appointment so they are billing me $125!

I!

WANT!

A!

DRINK!

But,,,,, if I am being honest with myself, and with you — mom, the only person who still reads this site anymore — I was drinking more often than I liked.

I would like to note that in pre-pandemic life, drinking was also a social activity. Rarely did I drink alone.

I miss cozying up between friends and strangers at the bar, gabbing about work, ordering apps, bonding hard over a second glass of something. I miss everyone in various stages of hair and makeup while the most ready person fixes drinks. I miss getting a little buzz and hitting the dance floor.

I really fucking miss blasting Taylor Swift in my ear pods, drunk in the Uber and on the way home.

During pandemic life, I live with my boyfriend so if I am not drinking with him then I am drinking alone.

Drinking by yourself is fun if you’re in the bath or cooking dinner. I have found that it is less fun when you are doom scrolling through Twitter or seeing photos of people on Instagram in M*GA hats, wearing shirts that say “6 MILLION MORE.”

So new year new me, even though I haven’t had a hair cut in ages.

No drinking. Also I deleted my Twitter.

So what have I been doing for the past 14 days? LET ME TELL YOU!!!!!!

I have been drinking a lot of tea and non-alcoholic kombucha. Tea is nice because it makes you feel cozy and sleepy. Kombucha is nice, because it tastes like juice and it is especially nice to drink when it is icy cold.

I have been working out. I started doing Blogilates routines because this influencer that I follow did Blogilates last year and she had the most amazing butt.

I have had discussions with people — both negative and positive — about Dryanuary. I have found that some people who typically don’t drink, like to use your month-long resolution as an excuse to remind you that they aren’t like you and that they don’t feel the need to do this. It has been an opportunity to both practice and lose your patience!

I have also had some encouraging conversations too.

I have been on walks. I have taken baths. I have tried reading books. I cooked more meals. I online shopped. I called my parents. I called my therapist. I have been doing yoga for my upper back and I have read through all my old text messages, even the ones that cause me to hurt.

And to be honest, I don’t feel that different. I still have anxiety. I still have depression. I still have OCD. I still feel like whyyyyyy is this happening? But I didn’t expect to quit drinking and have everything magically change for me.

This is/was an exercise in breaking a bad habit for me. It was never about making a permanent change. Like most of us who resolve to do better because the Earth has successfully completed another spin around the sun, I wanted to kick off the first day, week, month in way that inspired future physical and mental health.

It has only been two weeks but my face feels less puffy and I am sleeping better — both things I will remember once January fades into whatever the hell we are headed towards.

But I don’t feel mentally amazing. And how could I expect to? I am thankful for so many things in my life, but the world (especially America rn) pretty much sucks! It’s not like drinking ever deluded me into think it wouldn’t, or that it could ever stop the pain of being robbed of an entire year of life.

Maybe one day I will quit drinking totally. I probably should, this audio book about alcoholism that I am listening to is scaring the crap out of me. Plus, because I drink for pleasure I like to drink things that taste nice and those things tend to be a little $$.

But until then, I will continue to have tea, paint my nails, call my mom, water my plants, take self-inventory of my feelings and try to enjoy the rest of this month (where I have spent all my money on $$ health snacks).

When it’s over, maybe I’ll celebrate with a kombucha.

xo

LL

The Zodiac Signs As Quarantine Snacks

Did I do this already? I don’t remember. Doing it again!

ARIES

Iced Coffee

You love to start your day by absolutely ruining your empty stomach with a large iced coffee. Then, when it’s well past lunch and you still haven’t eaten, you get a second one!

TAURUS

Leftover holiday candy

You survived off of mini-Snickers bars and packets of M&M’s from Halloween to Dec. 1. Thankfully, your Reeses cups don’t taste too much like the Lush bath bombs your mom put in your Christmas stocking.

GEMINI

Any Kind of Chips

You love that CRONCH!! Potato, tortilla, even pita. Just be sure to brush those crumbs out of your bed in between episodes of Bridgerton.

CANCER

Microwave Quesadilla

Every quarantine snack pretty much doubles as a depression meal, but nothing says I HAVE GIVEN UP ON MY LIFE PLEASE LET ME SLEEP FOREVER quite like a nuked tortilla with a few slices of Kraft American cheese.

LEO

Bell Peppers + Cream Cheese + Hot Cheetos/Takis

You’ve been watching a lot of TikTok and this seemed like a fun snack to try. Now you’re really into ALL TikTok snacks, but you can’t bring yourself to try those TikTok egg salad pickle-boats just yet (thank god).

VIRGO

Charcuterie Board

No one has any control right now, but at least you do over this charcuterie board. Make a salami river! Cookie cutter a fun shape into your brie! We’re all gonna die.

LIBRA

Apple Sauce/Yogurt Pouches for Babies

We get it. You’re baby.

SCORPIO

Gabagool

Whether you are Tony Soprano or someone who took a trip to Gelson’s for hummus and left with a lot of expensive food items you didn’t really need, it is powerful to eat loose cured-meats. You can’t tell me otherwise.

SAGITTARIUS

Expensive Cookies Your Roommate Bought

Okay, THIEF!!! The next gluten-free double-chocolate chip Tate’s box is on you, I guess.

CAPRICORN

Alcohol

Drunk since March, drunker in September and now DRUNKEST in 2021! Maybe you can get a Cancer to make you a microwaved quesadilla to soak some of that up.

AQAURIUS

Fruit With Alternative Nut Butters

Isn’t it nice that someone has a nutritious coping mechanism??? You go for apples, bananas, persimmons, dates, figs, etc… all with almond, cashew, sunflower, whatever the fuck else butter!! You’re getting some good protein and fiber god damnit!

PISCES

Ice Cream

At least you’re more upfront about your need for comfort food than a lot of these other signs. Good thing it’s never too cold for ice cream — especially when you’re parked in front of your space heater.

How to Make Eggs

I recently watched a TikTok where a girl was sobbing about how “it” never ends. She panned to piles of dirty laundry and a sink full of dishes.

The video was duet-ed by a woman who explained that “care” never ends. You will always have laundry to do, dishes to clean, bookshelves to dust, etc. She explained that your level of “care” fluctuates, depending on what you have going on in your life.

A really important “care” thing for me is knowing how to make food. Sure, sometimes care looks like Postmating Thai food, but the need to nourish your body never ends and money does (otherwise I would be ordering Thai food for every meal for the rest of my life). That’s where cooking comes in.

I didn’t realize how few of my friends knew how to boil or fry an egg until quarantine began. Please believe me when I tell you that I had three different people text me about this.

A desire to learn is worthy of applause, as is a desire to care for oneself.

If you are a person with access to a kitchen with a stove, have a frying pan and a small pot, and want to learn to cook eggs for yourself but never learned how, THIS IS FOR YOU!!!

I promise, this is all easy as hell. Even if you’ve never done it before.

Plus, you’re not just learning how to hard boil an egg, you’re half of the way to making egg salad or a breakfast sandwich or a pasta topping.

HOW TO MAKE A HARD BOILED EGG

There are two ways of doing this, but I’m going to teach you the way my grandma taught me, which I think is the easiest. You will need a pot, so something with tall sides that can hold a lot of water, a spoon, some water and then as many eggs as you want to make.

  1. Fill a small pot with water and set it on a stove burner at a high heat.
  2. Bring your pot of water to a boil on the stove. You will know it is boiling when the water is bubbling.
  3. Take your spoon and gently put an egg on it and place the egg into the boiling water. Do this GENTLY. You’re trying not to crack the egg.
  4. Take the spoon out
  5. Set a timer on your phone for 8 minutes (if you like your egg yolk to be a little runny) or 9 minutes (for a firmer egg).
  6. DO NOT TOUCH THE WATER LET IT KEEP BOILING
  7. When the timer goes off, TURN OFF THE WATER.
  8. Take your spoon and scoop the egg out of the pot. You can either leave it on the counter to cool or run it under cold sink water (while it balances on the spoon) until it is cool enough to touch.
  9. When it is cool enough, you can peel the shell off the egg. My best advice for peeling the shell off is to 1. GET A PAPER TOWEL. 2. Put the egg on the paper towel. 3. Gently crush the egg with your palm (don’t flatten it so it explodes. Be gentle!), rolling it back and forth a little until cracks form all over. Then peel all the crunchy part off.
  10. Throw your shell away. I recommend pouring a little salt and pepper on your plate and dipping your egg into the mixture for a lil flavor.

WANT TO TURN YOUR HARD BOILED EGGS INTO EGG SALAD?

Boil and peel 4 eggs (assuming you’re making egg salad for 1 person. If you’re making it for two, I would double the amount of everything). Cut the eggs up on a plate or cutting board. It doesn’t really matter how. You could also put them all into a bowl and mash them. You do you. But you’re going to need to combine your eggs in a bowl anyway, with some mayo (I would recommend about 1/4 cup but you can eyeball it), about 1 squirt of yellow mustard, chopped up green onion, pepper, salt and paprika. Mix it all up with a fork. Voila! You just made egg salad. Put it on some toasted bread or eat it with peppers and pickles if you’re a TikToker.

HOW TO MAKE SCRAMBLED EGGS

My boyfriend is practically a genius, so when we started living together I was stunned to discover that he doesn’t know how to make scrambled eggs.

That, or he is completely pulling my leg and doesn’t want to make breakfast.

There are many different ways to make scrambled eggs. However, you don’t need to do it the fancy French way, or add milk or a ton of butter. All you need is two eggs (three if you’re really hungry), a small bowl, 1 fork, a frying pan, a wooden spoon or spatula and some sort of fat, like butter or olive oil.

  1. Crack your eggs into a small bowl. If you get eggshell in there, take one of the halves of the already broken shell and fish out the tiny piece that got way. Shell attracts shell. My grandma taught me that and it is probably the best piece of advice I have ever been given.
  2. Take your fork and stab the yellow yolks until they don’t look like perfect circles anymore. Then, mix the eggs together. You should be left with a yellow-y mixture.
  3. Set the bowl aside.
  4. Take your pan and set it on a stove burner. Turn the burner to medium-high heat.
  5. Let the pan get hot. You’ll know it’s hot (DON’T TOUCH IT) when you hold your hand over it, and you can feel the heat.
  6. Turn the heat down to low.
  7. Throw some butter or olive oil in there. Not a lot. If you want to use a measurement I would say 1/2 a teaspoon of olive oil or if you’re using butter, I would say use about as much as you would typically spread on toast.
  8. Spread it around the pan with your wooden spoon.
  9. Pour your egg mixture into the pan.
  10. LET IT SIT FOR ABOUT 30 SECONDS.
  11. Then take your wooden spoon and make small circles. You don’t want the egg to cook in one solid circle, you’re trying to make curds by breaking them up.
  12. You will know your eggs are done when there are no longer any sort of mucus-y looking parts to it. If you are like my boyfriend and you can’t be bothered to pay attention to what that means, I would say about two minutes.
  13. Serve immediately

WANT TO MAKE BREAKFAST TACOS?

*I am in no way claiming that this is the way to make authentic tacos. It is definitely not!!*

You’re going to need any tortillas of your choice. They don’t even have to be taco-sized, you could also make this a breakfast burrito or roll-up. You’ll need cheddar cheese and hot sauce. Assuming you just made the scrambled eggs, take a clean frying pan and put it on the burner at low heat. Put your tortilla in the pan. While your tortilla heats up, sprinkle it with cheddar cheese. Wait for it to melt. If you’re feeling fancy, this is when you can add things like tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, beans, meat, etc… Then dump your scrambled eggs on top and let them get a little warmer (they likely will have cooled). Remove taco from frying pan, top with hot sauce!

HOW TO FRY AN EGG (THIS IS THE LAST ONE I PROMISE)

You’ll need an egg, a frying pan, a spatula and some sort of fat like olive oil or butter.

  1. Put your frying pan on a stove burner at high heat. Let it get hot. You’ll know it’s hot (DON’T TOUCH IT) when you hold your hand over it, and you can feel the heat.
  2. Put about a tablespoon of olive oil or butter into the pan. Can’t be bothered to measure? Cut off a big hunk of butter or make a small pool olive oil. Let the butter melt (or just leave the olive oil alone in the pan).
  3. This part is the trickiest part IMO. You need to crack the egg and put it in the pan. The simplest way to do this is to crack the egg against the pan and dump in its contents. If you are afraid of getting burned or of leaving shell in there by mistake, get a small bowl and crack the egg into there instead. Then dump the egg from the bowl into the frying pan.
  4. Yes, the oil/butter will make scary noises while it cooks the egg. Get over it tbh.
  5. You will know when one side is done because the outer edges of the egg will start to brown and turn crispy.
  6. Take your spatula and slide it under the egg. You are going to flip the egg. Yes, you can do this. There is no way to fuck it up other than to chuck the egg on the floor. Focus!! Flip the egg over so the other side can cook!!!
  7. Wow you did it.
  8. Let it sit there are like….2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Do a little longer (3 min) for a firmer yolk.
  9. TURN THE HEAT OFF.
  10. Take your spatula and take the egg out of the pan!!!! Now you can add this fried egg to a piece of toast, bowl of pasta, rice or something!!!

I don’t really have another recipe for you with this. My only advice, is that everything tastes better with a fried egg on it. Try it on pasta, pizza, a grain bowl, on some fried rice, avocado toast… honestly the sky is the limit with this one. My favorite way to eat a fried egg rn is between two halves of an english muffin with some cheddar cheese and hot sauce mmmmmmm.

ANYWAY

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. If you want to learn how to make other basic things, LMK. I can also teach you how to make harder things. Idk. I’m here!! Caring never stops! And that is okay. We can do this together.

Lately Snack Break: St. End

“Snack Break” is Lately’s interview series where we chat with people we think are interesting, for about as long as it takes you to finish your afternoon snack. Our second in the series is with St. End founder and friend of Lately, Erin Gabriel….who for the longest time, I thought was named Erin Gabe.

Erin is an internet cool girl with a natural eye for design that would make Alexa Chung blush.

The florist by-day, jewelry designer by-night is the sole force behind the accessory brand St. End, named for the latter half of your childhood “BEST FRIEND” necklace.

Whether you’re looking to rock a cow-print hair barrette, give your kid sister a beaded bracelet that says “Paul Rudd” or want to elevate your outfit with a pair of glow in the dark flower earrings, Gab(ri)e(l) is your girl.

Her brand St. End is full of bold colors, dreamy shapes and original ideas that turn your ears, wrists, and hair, into a full-on party.

You just always seem to know what looks good. Where do you think that comes from? Do you have any inspirations?

EG: First of all, thank you! I would accredit my Aquarius-ness for always having my finger on the pulse of any new style trends; it’s important for me to stay on top of the curve, or try at least. 

I also think growing up with a mother that was constantly repainting, redecorating, and tweaking the style of our home played a huge role in how attuned I am to design. She and I have always been keen on DIY projects for home decor and fashion, so I think that translates into my inspiration for starting St. End. 

So your DIY spirit is what drew you to making jewelry?

EG: I have been making my own jewelry since I was little and got my first pair of jewelry pliers and a tackle box full of beads. In high school when I couldn’t find accessories that were to my liking, I would buy cheap costume jewelry from Forever21 and reconstruct [them] to add charms or rhinestones or beads, until I had a piece of jewelry that was totally unique to me.

I used to make bracelets out of zippers and vintage beads my Grandma gifted me and sold them at art fairs. I guess I’ve always been a jewelry entrepreneur lol.

You’re so creative! You’ve made earrings in the shape of gummy worms, tombstones, bananas, mushrooms and butterfly wings! Where do you get your ideas from?

EG: When I’m designing pieces, I start by sketching ideas for shapes if I plan on working with polymer clay. This then leads to a big trial and error process where I see what color and shape combinations I like. I also use Pinterest and IG for inspiration. 

You also give your pieces these insanely good pun-based names. Where do those come from?

EG: I keep a running list of names I like or think are clever and usually end up texting my friends to see what they like best. Niche references are a big part of the St. End brand.

Your Halloween collection just dropped and it was amazing. What’s next for St. End?

EG: I really hope to get into designing molds for custom metal jewelry. I would love to have custom molds cast into finer materials like sterling silver or 14K gold.

Five years from now, I just hope I’m still designing and creating pieces that are fun and I want to wear! That’s really why I started St. End- to create jewelry that I want! I just got lucky that other people want to wear it, too.

If you could make jewelry for any celeb, who would it be? 

EG: Immediately I thought of Phoebe Bridgers since I recently made a pair of ghost earrings inspired by her Stranger in the Alps album artwork. I think I would cry if she wore a pair of my ghost earrings.

Oh, also AOC. I can picture her wearing a pair of my tiny gold hoops. I think it would be very on brand for her. I just want people to feel cool when they wear my stuff and to know that it was created with so so much love.

Honestly, that’s my favorite part of your brand. You can tell a lot of thought and care went in to every piece. It feels like you’re wearing a little piece of art. For Lately readers who haven’t shopped St. End yet, what are the essential pieces?

EG: Crushed Little Stars, Uptown Pearl, Daisy Dukes, More Cowbell, and a custom Stretchy Bracelet to finish off the look.

You can follow St. End on Instagram at: @st.end_

Saturday Link Pack

Hello!

Happy weekend! I am currently sitting on my couch, next to my boyfriend, who is depressed that I have announced that I want lip injections.

I ran an Instagram poll this week asking you all what you’d like to see more of on Lately, and many of you (the 5 people who responded) answered roundups and recipes. So on this grey LA October day, I am posting a roundup of just….shit from the internet? And a recipe or two.

Enjoy

Speaking of D*n, he LOVED this brown-butter salmon with lemon and Harissa recipe that I made the other week. It’s an Alison Roman dish and was fairly easy to make.

I have been dreaming of these press-ons from Color Camp. The orange is fall AF. If you’ve never ordered from CC, they send you a try on kit before your order ships so you can give them the exact size of your nails. The result is press-ons that actually fit and look natural. This autumn floral design is super cute too.

This is THE BEST smelling & looking candle.

Repeller (formerly Man Repeller) shut down this week, right after a relaunch that held the promise of inclusivity and would have opened the door to much-needed conversations in the fashion/beauty/lifestyle digital space. If you want details on the close, you can read about it here. If you want some insider gossip on the sitch….click here.

I’ve been eyeing these bike shorts (yes bike shorts are still a core part of my wardrobe) from Aerie. The v-seam looks ultra-flattering. Plus, they’re on sale right now for $25. They also come in legging form.

I just started using these much-hyped Japanese beauty skin cloths in the shower. They exfoliate like a mofo. 10/10 recommend.

I’ve been trying to up my fermented foods/probiotics intake, because I have severely screwed up my gut health during quarantine. I’ve been really enjoying drives to Erewhon for Kombucha Kat (and I am a person who typically doesn’t like kombucha but this stuff is really tasty). I’ve also started drinking this blackberry apple cider vinegar tea in the mornings.

You STILL need to wear SPF in the fall/winter!! Even when it’s not sunny out. Even indoors! They discontinued making my favorite one from Purito : ( right as I am squeezing out of the last drops from my bottle! I might try EltaMD next, or Solid & Striped.

Maybe I’ll wear this dress to Thanksgiving. I know it’s not even Halloween yet, but I have been dreaming of eating stuffing.

Somebody buy me these earrings.

Halloween is in 1 week! My grandmother sent me some Halloween/fall cookie cutters and I put them to good use. She even sent me a card with the sugar cookie recipe she has been making my entire life.

Albertson’s was out of purple and orange icing. Peep the pilgrim hats I tried to turn into a spooky witches hat and a fall hat for gardening.

Anyway, we saw a rat on the balcony yesterday. Tell me again why we left the valley?

xoxoxo

Lily

M*ney

I am currently saving money for a pair of shoes that don’t actually exist.

I know that I want new shoes. I mean, I always want new shoes. But after a recent closet purge at Buffalo Exchange where I made $160 selling what felt like $1,000 worth of goods, I realized I had sold a lot of my nicer pieces, including fancy shoes that I currently have no business wearing (because where the hell do I even go?), but will want to replace to wear later.

I pulled open tabs on Staud, Suzanne Rae, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Brother Vellies, etc… and quickly realized — 1. Sh*t, I am broke, and 2. Would it feel as good to instantly replace my shoes (and go into even MORE debt) than it would to save up for a pair I actually have my eye on?

Also 3….. or do I want a purse??

So, they’re more metaphorical “shoes” than anything.

One of the few reasons I am so glad to live in 2020 (including being on the same plane of existence as Harry Styles) is that there is an app for everything. I’ll preface this by saying, THIS IS NOT AN AD. I have in no way been paid to endorse anything. I just really love the Digit app.

You can make this money app do whatever you want (besides give you more money lol). Right now, I have it scheduled to pull a little money (and I mean truly a tiny bit) from my checking account for a “rainy day fund,” and a little bit of money that I use to pay my credit card bill with.

So when I realized I might want new shoes/a new purse/diamond earrings/the magic potion that will make Harry Styles fall in love with me, I set up a new “Savings Goal,” as the app calls it.

I labeled it “NEW SHOES!!!” Because I am someone who enjoys caps and exclamation points to make life more exciting. I picked a random number to save up to that would afford me dream shoes, and in a time frame that would turn my little nest egg into a present for New Years (because 2021 HAS to be better than 2020. Especially if I start it by wearing new shoes.)

The app then alerted me that it would need to save between $5 – $15 every day, depending on what’s in my checking account.

My lizard brain thought…$5 to $15?? That’s like…my daily Starbucks coffee and a bagel! NO! But then my humanoid brain whispered into my hippocampus, “I dare you to do it, bitch.”

Yes, this post is disgusting and steeped in privilege. I am a woman who can afford to save money for something she doesn’t actually need. Giving up a daily dose of Starbucks is not a hardship.

What I have learned about myself since March 2020, when everything shut down and changed, is that I am a person who spends money to feel better. During the pandemic, it has reached a fever pitch (mom I know you are reading this and freaking out. Please take a breath and calm down.) I know, through communicating with friends, that other people are going through a similar thing. But it still feels incredibly shameful and isolating.

It feels good to buy goods that support small business, because everyone is floundering. But then I feel like I am floundering (mental health wise) and I want to support myself through self care. Then I realize that I am a piece of sh*t because the world around me is crumbling and I need to donate to bail funds and free food fridges and NOT buy that Amazon potato peeler because I should be at a place in my life where I am perfectly fine just peeling all my fruit and potatoes and things with a knife, and if I wanted to practice good self care I would just go paint my nails or something. Which makes me think about how I want new nail polish and then the cycle starts again.

So I have been meditating on it.

I may not actually buy “shoes” or a “purse” or anything at all.

I would like to think I am trying to break this money cyclone I have created for myself, and be more mindful when it comes to WHY I am making purchases, and stop that bottomless hole feeling. Do I feel anxious right now? Am I buying new bedsheets because I am depressed or because I can’t get that hot sauce stain out? Will I still want this item in 2 weeks? Remember the glitter chair quarantine purchase????

By acknowledging that I am saving money for a goal, I am attempting to have less of a knee-jerk response to self-soothe by entering my secret code on any website that takes Shopify.

That includes unsubscribing from sites I like that offer me daily deals and my compulsory “I left the house coffee” (which NGL, is going to be super hard because it has become a ritual for me to go on a walk to get that delicious, delicious iced bean water).

I will be real with you my beautiful readers, who I hope don’t think I am now scum on the bottom of a Jimmy Choo… I do still want shoes. And I will probably allow myself one coffee outing a week. But I have made this blog post in an attempt to be accountable? In an attempt to be transparent?

Both, I guess.

I just hope someone out there relates to this/doesn’t tell me to burn in hell for behaving irresponsibly with my money.

Please don’t punch me in the face if you see me with an iced latte on the street.

X

LL

Have a Cozy-Making Sunday

I am writing this to you from my kitchen table, where I have a lovely view of an aluminum butter wrapper that has flown onto my balcony and out of someone’s trash. Either that or my upstairs neighbors are dumping their garbage out of their window.

I have yet to learn to love life on the east side.

ANYWAY.

I have a face mask on, I’m wearing my gnocchi Uggs, and I’m sipping some re-heated coffee. To add to the major relaxation vibes, Dan has football on (which is serving as my background noise ASMR for the day) and I have lit every single candle in our apartment. It is the late-teens of October and I am extremely dedicated to the spirit of Sunday cozy-making.

While it still may not be cold enough in LA to wear a sweater and I will probably have to say R.I.P. to any plans I had to go to a pumpkin patch this year, here are some things on the internet that are making me feel especially cozy today:

In the spirit of becoming my own favorite Midwestern aunt, it is my duty to inform all of you that this is the last day of Bath & Body Works buy 1, get 1 3-wick candle sale.

This weekend I listened to the Amelia Diamond episode of Gee Thanks, Just Bought It, and it was like spending time with an old friend. Diamond left Man Repeller (now called, Repeller) in 2018 and I have missed her voice/sense of humor ever since.

As soon as I take a leisurely solo trip to the grocery store to buy ingredients, I’ll be baking this apple cider doughnut cake.

Independent book stores really need your help right now. Even if you don’t have time to read (or like to), you definitely have friends and family who do. Consider buying a book, tote bag, or cool crewneck sweater to keep these places open. Here are a few independent book stores that I love: Unabridged Bookstore (Chicago), Women & Children First (Chicago), Skylight Books (Los Angeles), City Lights Bookstore (San Francisco), McNally Jackson (New York).

I got into my friend’s car after months of not seeing her and one of the first things she said to me was “you smell SO good.” I just started wearing this perfume.

I used to hate tomatoes and now I am obsessed with bursting them with olive oil and a little garlic to make pasta sauce. Will probably make some variation of this for dinner this week.

Have you been doing yoga at home? I’ve been really into SarahBethYoga’s videos. Sometimes I take a 15 minute break from work to do this one. I’ve also been looking for a new yoga mat. Anyone have any recs?

Just copped this plaid jacket from Minnesota/North Dakota brand Kittsona. I’m going to have to wait a little until the temps drop to wear it, but when I do I’d love to pair it with something like cozy like this. Mommy blogger fall is the vibe.

Speaking of mommy blogger fall, every year I consider buying this Everlane glove boot. TC if you’re reading this, I need you to peer pressure me into it!!! NO RAGRETS

Hope you’re somewhere cozy, enjoying Great British Baking Show, and drinking mugs of tea.

Love

LL

Rating Sh*t I Bought Because of TikTok

If you think there aren’t 27 year old women on this app, you’re probably on the wrong side of TikTok. This video app (which has completely ruined taken over my life) is influencing the crap out of me to buy things.

There are so many makeup artists touting must-have setting sprays, hair stylists with holy grail conditioners and just cool/smart people who have put me on to products that “actually work.”

But do they?????

Because I am a complete and total sucker, I have bought some of these things. Here’s what is actually good:

The Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer

I bought this at Ulta after a bunch of women that I follow on TikTok used it to give themselves DryBar-worthy blowouts.

Full disclosure, I am a DryBar ADDICT. I used to go every other week because it was in my building at work. Shoutout Burbank. I fully believe that if I were to have even the faintest whiff of a DryBar candle right now, it would give me a full body orgasm.

But not only do I miss DryBar, my frizzy little head misses it too. My hair has not been sleek or bouncy in the months? years? That we have been here.

I am fairly okay using hot tools. I have been flat ironing my own hair since I was 13 (humblebrag).

This hair-drying round brush isn’t difficult to use, but it is definitely bulky. I had to section my hair into smaller portions than normal to get the strands as sleek as I wanted to because I just couldn’t get in there, on account of how big the brush is.

I did love how quickly it dried my hair, even when it was wet-wet. It’s a great tool for creating sleek/flipped ends. I DON’T love that I can’t get as close as I want to to my roots, like I typically would be able to with a flat iron.

It gave me lots of volume. I had to go back over the top with my flat iron 😦

8/10 — Excellent hair tool. Probably easier to use if you have thin to medium hair and aren’t a total chia pet like me.

Essence Lash Princess Mascara

This mascara was $5 at CVS and worth every penny. That’s 500 pennies so…that means a lot. This mascara will give you black-blash lashes with lots of buildable volume and length. HOWEVER!!! due to the heaviness of this mascara, it won’t hold a curl no matter how many times you attack your lashes with a curling wand.

7/10 — a great drugstore mascara, especially if you have naturally curly lashes.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid

This product from The Ordinary is all the rage on Skincare-Tok. Normally, I am slightly afraid of this brand because I have no fucking clue what anything does or is for. BUT!!! After seeing too many TikToks where teens AND adults used this acid to help fade acne scars, I knew I needed to try it out.

IT. WORKS.

10/10

Actually holy grail for me??? I have scarring, largely from my dermatillomania (chronic skin picking!), and after only a week of using this, my marks have faded dramatically. Plus, it was $7 at Ulta. THANKS TIKTOK!

NYX Powder Puff Lippie

1000000/10. It’s like dream matte mousse but for your LIPS!! And in so many gorgeous shades. It’s budge-proof, it’s light, it’s pigmented, it smells good….it’s perfect. AND IT IS CHEAP!! If you wear lipstick, get it.

ART

There are some pretty amazing artists/designers/creators on TikTok. These are some of the ones I’ve made purchases from. I know these aren’t like….products I can give feedback on exactly, other than to say they were all so pretty and I love them/supporting small business!

All 10/10!!

Things in My Los Angeles Apartment That Just Make Sense

We’re in our new space! I can’t believe I finally left the valley! And that all the people who used to make fun of me for living there have had to move back to Pennsylvania/central Illinois to live with their parents!

Here are some bright spots about our new place:

This candelabra set my boyfriend hates but I think is really cool

He told me they remind him of when Delia Deetz decorates the house with really modern furniture in Beetlejuice. That may have been meant as an insult, but Delia Deetz manically decorating things might just be my overall vibe. Anyway, I love their cool squiggly shape and brassy color. It was actually difficult to find candlesticks that would fit into these mASSIVE holes, but I finally did.

I got both from Urban online: candle holder, candle sticks

A rolling cart

I have already mentioned this rolling cart a few times, but I am obsessed with it. My new kitchen is teeny tiny and I need all the storage space I can get. You can’t really tell in this photo but I am currently using my salad bowl as a fruit bowl. Chic!

If you’re straining your eyes to read what the art above my cart says, don’t. It says “Orange you glad you’re still here despite it all.” It feels appropriate because fruit belongs in the kitchen and because this is an old-ass Los Feliz apartment building, it has had a LOT of issues! Even before we started officially living in it! Also the frame is not off center, you’re just crooked.

Also Tori if you’re reading this, my Always Pan in sage green just shipped.

A lot of plants

Don’t let this photo fool you. My new apartment is basically a little cave. This is one of the ONLY sunny spots for plants. Luckily, these plants aren’t like….sun-obsessed (plant community please don’t come for me if I am wrong).

I am planning on going to my fave plant store in the valley to get some plants for the rest of the apartment that thrive in low-light.

A haphazardly organized bar cart

I really want to make this look cute and it is kind of looking like a disaster! Please HELP! I think I want to put a plant on it? Again, it will need to be something that thrives in lower light. Because of course it does.

However, I do love that this cart solved a lot of my storage issues and that it is cute, even if it is disorganized. Yes, I drink Casamigos AND Trader Joe’s rum. Yes, we exist.

A Larry David pillow

It’s Dan’s. Peep the purple rug below!!

My little bedroom reading nook

After much back-and-forth with my interior designer a.k.a. my friend Erin who has a great eye for design and gave me advice for free, we decided to put this little bench-moment under my bedroom window to make it look purposeful.

You might think this iced coffee and book placement was just for the photo, but I was actually curled up reading before this.!

Also, if anyone has some goo-gone for the leftover sticker bits on my mirror that they could bring me, it would be much appreciated.

A shower curtain that looks like a lot of nipples

When I purchased this curtain online I thought, how sweet! It will add some texture and I love the rosy color. Then I set it up and thought hmmm….looks like nipples. It is definitely more flesh-toned in person, but I still like it a lot. I got it from Amazon, where I also got my cute little peach bath mat. I wanted Urban Outfitters but at “fell off a truck” prices.

bath mat, shower curtain

My shelfie

Honestly, I wanted to show off what skincare I’ve been using. Aside from the mask-ne I’ve been dealing with (one of the many pleasures of the pandemic), my skin has been looking and feeling pretty good. I am especially obsessed with the Rio Viera-Newton-approved double cleansing duo with my Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm and the Dr. Loretta Gentle Hydrating Cleanser.

Also, I started using Megababe on my pits and now I believe the hype and my armpits smell like flowers. 10/10 recommend.

Anyway, I have more apartment than this. I just can’t show it to you because it’s Dan’s office not fully decorated yet.

I have one very large wall in the bedroom that I am considering hanging some shelves on. Also we might get a new coffee table. HMU with some ideas. You know where to find me.

I’m an east side girl now.

xo

L